I am a mid-level employee that is managing the projects of a few "lower level" employees in the office. These projects normally are lower priority projects that don't have a critical due date. For example, fixing bugs in code, running through protocol checklists for compliance purposes, and general maintenance I can't get to when I have an abundance of critical priority issues to fix as soon as possible (according to my boss).
Right now, I have an employee that is making significantly more work for me than they resolve. I have gone through the steps of creating documentation on the task, providing resources to look into problems when I am unavailable, and making sure they clearly understand the scope of their project or task. None of that seems to be helping. The employee is making little to no progress on their work and seems to have a gap in knowledge with the field overall. I did not hire this person but from working with them they do not show the necessary skills to do the job.
While this person doesn't show the skill to do the job, they definitely have the motivation to learn. Considering I have provided everything I can on a task, I can't see anymore things I can do to help this person succeed in the job. I don't know where the line is between an employee problem or a bad management problem on my part. This is my first time managing other employees so I don't want to be considered part of the "bad management" epidemic in most workplaces.
For this situation I have a few questions:
- Is this an actual issue with my managerial skills and if so, what are some recommended methods to go about fixing my mistakes?
- Am I giving too much information on a topic where the employee might think they don't have to do research on their own?
- Are there any steps I should take professionally before escalating this to HR to make sure this is in fact an employee problem and not an issue with my management?
I have also read through How should a manager handle an employee who lacks intuition? but that question seems to be more focused on handling an employee that is just doing the wrong work, in my case the work just isn't having progress made at all. I should also add that the employee in my question works an opposite shift of me so the only communication I have is through email, phone calls, or issue tracking in repositories. However, I have made myself completely available to contact me on my off-hours during their shift but they rarely contact me during their designated shift time.